The Politics

In June 2011, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference calling for the DEA and Department of Justice to crack down on Silk Road and use of Bitcoin.[1] The ensuing investigation became known as Schumer’s case.

In October 2013, Ross was arrested in California where he lived but was transferred to Schumer’s home state of New York, for prosecution.[2]

On October 2014, before Ross’s trial even started, Schumer wrote an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, showing no regard for presumption of innocence and Ross’s Due Process rights:

Senator Chuck Schumer

“With your help, the Silk Road was shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013, and I am pleased that DOJ is currently prosecuting its operator and holding him accountable.”
– Chuck Schumer.[3]

Lead Prosecutor Preet Bharara

In 2014 and 2015, Ross was arraigned and tried before Judge Katherine Forrest, who was recommended to the bench by Schumer in 2011.[4]

The lead prosecutor was Preetinder Bharara, who served as Schumer’s Chief Counsel from 2005 to 2009,[5] and was recommended by Schumer for the powerful position of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.[6]


    • [1] – NBC article, June 5, 2011 (“Schumer Pushes to Shut Down Online Drug Marketplace”)
    • [2] – NBC article, October 9, 2013 (“Man who allegedly ran illegal drug bazaar to be sent to NY to face charges”)
    • [3] – Open letter from Chuck Schumer to Eric Holder, October 27, 2014
    • [4] – NYU Law article, October 17, 2011 (“Katherine B. Forrest ’90 and Former Alexander Fellow Alison Nathan confirmed to federal bench”)
    • [5] – Department of Justice press release, October 26, 2009 (“Attorney General Holder Expands U.S. Attorney Advisory Committee”)
    • [6] – The New York Times article, August 8, 2009 (“Schumer Aide Is Confirmed as United States Attorney”)